The Town COWncil held a Study Session on October 11 to take public comment and discuss Airbnb and event houses. This is an issue of increasing interest in our cowmunity. See our earlier story on the issue here.
When it came to Airbnb and similar short term rentals, a number of COWs described negative experiences with short term rentals of neighboring properties (although it appeared that the majority of these were from one neighborhood). A couple of COWs spoke in favor of Airbnb, while recognizing the need for rules, they worried that too much regulation could hurt people who make some needed money renting out their homes while they are away on vacation. Some called for a minimum of a month rental. One idea suggested was to notify Airbnb when a particular home was creating nuisance.
Also discussed were the many corporate events that are being held in private homes on a regular basis with parking and noise impacts.
The Council discussed what other towns are doing (mostly month to month minimums) and how to enforce existing and future laws, as well as maintaining owner’s rights and privacy. The COWncil directed staff to review the impacts and to try to resolve them in effected neighborhoods when they occur, without waiting for the adoption of additional regulations. Staff was told to make recommendations about how to close any loopholes as well as clarify and strengthen existing regulations.
Town Manager Kevin Bryant confirmed that staff will look at other cities’ ordinances and regulations in terms of effectiveness and the resources needed to be effective. Staff will look at five to six different approaches and focus on towns similar to Woodside. They are to give some thought to the broader issue of nuisance which may or may not be connected.
Make your opinion herd on allowing or restricting rentals or party’s on your property and neighboring homes to staff.